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Strategies to Deal With Conflict in Your Business When people work together, it doesn’t matter what you are doing, conflict will eventually arise. Things like personal beliefs, management styles, goals, and views of power can all cause conflict. If conflicts are managed and resolved, then it will eventually break down trust and productivity in the workplace. This is especially damaging to small businesses. You can minimize the damage done by these conflicts by learning different conflict management strategies. You can use the accommodating strategy if one side of the conflict wants to keep the peace more than they want to win the argument. Giving one side what they want in order to keep the peace is a way that conflict can be very effective. It is only a good idea if one side of the conflict sees it as a minor issue. You can see a common use of this strategy in casual Fridays in the workplace. This won’t work all the time, because one side can get resentful because they have to give up what they want.
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Another strategy is avoidance. Avoiding the conflict for as long as possible is what avoidance boils down to. Sometimes if you give a problem some time, it will work itself out. An example of this is hiring a productive replacement for a popular but unproductive worker. Once people see the work load even out, they aren’t angry about the person being fired anymore. You can try to make everyone happy by collaborating, or integrating ideas from several different people. Not all conflicts will be resolved this way and it will take some time when it is. For example: the owner of a business and the manager need to collaborate about which policies to use in the business, but they wouldn’t collaborate on smaller issues like office supplies. If collaboration doesn’t work, you may want to try compromising. Compromising happens when both people give up things they want in order to meet on middle ground. This works best when both sides of the conflict hold equal power and both have something to lose if an agreement isn’t reached. A competition can be used in rare situations. Overusing this can cause rifts if you aren’t careful. This strategy should only be used in no-win situations like pay cuts and layoffs. No matter what challenges you face in your business, knowing how to resolve different conflicts will be crucial to your success. Different situations will mean using different strategies, so it is up to you to decide which one is going to work best.